A Greek polymath philosopher; student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great.
The human soul, which in classic Hindu belief seeks union with Brahman.
A major female Confucian author of Han dynasty China whose works give insight into the implication of Confucian thinking for women.
A great Hindu epic text, part of the much larger Mahabharata, which affirms the performance of caste duties as a path to religious liberation.
An immensely popular development in Hinduism, advocating intense devotion toward a particular deity.
The "World Soul" or final reality in upanishadic Hindu belief.
The priestly caste of India.
The cultural/religious tradition first enunciated by Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha).
The Chinese philosophy first enunciated by Confucious, advocating the moral example of superiors as the key element of social order.
Roman emperor whose conversion to Christianity paved the way for the triumph of Christianity in Europe.
The central text of Daoism; translated as The Way and Its Power.
The honoring of one's ancestors and parents, a key element of Confucianism.
A secularizing system of scientific and philosophic thought that developed in classical Greece in the period 600 to 300 B.C.E; it emphasized the power of education and human reason to understand the world in nonreligious terms.
A word derived from outsiders to describe the vast diversity of indigenous Indian religious traditions.
A very influential Greek medical theorist; regarded as the father of medicine. (Hippocratic oath)
One of the most important prophets of Judaism, whose teachings show the transformation of the religion in favor of compassion and social justice.
Jesus of Nazareth
The prophet/god of Christianity.
The montheistic religion developed by the Hebrews, emphasizing a sole personal god (Yahweh) with concerns for social justice.
A legendary Chinese philosopher of the sixth century B.C.E.; regarded as the founder of Daoism.
"Great Vehicle," the popular development of Buddhism in the early centuries of the Common Era, which gives a much greater role to supernatural beings and proved to be more popular than original (Theravada) Buddhism.
In Hindu belief, liberation from separate existence and union which Brahman.
The end goal of Buddhism, in which individual identity is "extinguished" into a state of serenity and great compassion.
A disciple of Socrates whose Dialogues convey the teachings of his master whle going beyond them to express Plato's own philosophy
Siddharth Guatama (the Buddha)
The Indian prince turned ascetic who founded Buddhism.
The first great Greek philosopher to turn rationalism toward questions of human existence.
Thales of Miletus
A Greek natural philosopher, noted for his application of reason to astronomy and for his questioning of the fundamental nature of the universe.
Roman emperor who made Christianity the official religion of the Roman state, banning all polytheistic rituals.
"The Teaching of the Elders," the early form of Buddhism according to which the Buddha as a wise teacher but not divine and which emphasizes practices rather than beliefs.
Indian mystical and philosophical works.
The earliest religios texts of India, a collection of ancient poems, hymns, and rituals that were transmitted orally before being written down.
Warring States period
Period in China from 403 to 221 B.C.E. that was typified by disorder and political chaos.
A Persian prophet, traditionally dated to the sixth or seventh century B.C.E., who founded Zoroastrianism. (Persian monotheistic religion)
A Chinese philosopher who spelled out the teachings of Daoism.
Persian monotheistic religion founded by the prophet Zaruthustra.